May 2009

EXERCISE of the MONTH : No-Hand Cycling

nohands1Many injuries in most sports come down to one culprit: a weak, inefficient, poorly activated, and fatiguing core. Other than a poorly fitted bike, the core is responsible for most symptoms in the upper body, spine, and neck while cycling. Once the core fatigues (if it is ever activated at all) the cyclist may lean too much of their weight on the handle bars causing shoulder, elbow, wrist, or hand symptoms. Also, a deactivated core allows too much movement of the spine and thus causing pain in the neck or back. It is also responsible for a rocking motion of the nohands2pelvis creating knee, hip, or back pain. A recommendation for those who may have a weak core is to raise the handlebars
a bit to allow for a more upright position until you become strong enough and the core doesn’t fatigue before the end of your ride. After you have worked on increasing the strength and activation of your trunk muscles, you will be able to hold yourself in a more horizontal position using your core and can then lower the handle bars.

Exercise: No-Hand Cycling on Trainer

WARNING: Do not try this on the road or on rollers. This exercise was designed to be done on a trainer for safety reasons.

Who it’s for: All cyclists trying to increase
core strength and prevent injuries

Purpose: To increase core activation and endurance during cycling Proper bike fit, able to bike with perfect alignment, posture, form and biomechanics on a trainer

How: Start cycling on your trainer with a low resistance and with perfect form, alignment, posture and biomechanics. Your back should be in a neutral position, elbows slightly bent and body in about 45 degrees towards horizontal. When you have a good cadence going, remove your hands from the handle bars and place them behind your back. You can start with a goal of 15 second intervals without losing form, posture, alignment, and biomechanics.

After a few weeks of this exercise, you can try to work up to 3-5 minute intervals.

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